TEMPEST – #3 Fairlie Launch in a series of 4
photos & details ex Ken Ricketts, edited by Alan H
Tempest is approximately 30 feet long & is the 3rd of 4 boats that Norm Fairlie had built for him in the 1950s -1970s period.
She was the second by McGeady & built in his Summer Street Ponsonby premises & purpose built for him in early 1964, specifically to fish for Tuna in the World Game Fishing Competition held in NZ in March of that year.
Tempest’s hull had been started by McGeady to be a boat he had intended to build for himself but he was persuaded by Norm F. to sell her to him & finish her to Norm’s requirements i.e. for the sole purpose of Tuna fishing as above, which he won in her.
He owned her simultaneously with his other larger McGeady boat the 38 foot Challenger which McGeady built for him in c.1962. He fished for tuna in the contest off the Tempest, & bill fish off Challenger & came second in the overall contest, for his combined efforts in the 2 boats.
He only owned Tempest for a few months & then sold her to his then business partner Mr Bert Grimshaw-Jones, who lived on the banks of the Tamaki River, where he kept her at the bottom of his garden, for a number of years, at least in to the later 1960s.
Now fast forward – she was bought in the later 1980s by Des Finlay of Whitianga, who along with his partner Christine Johnson, had bought her in a derelict state at Gt. Barrier, taken her to their home in Whitianga & worked on her for a couple of years on their lawn, then relaunched her & sold her a year or two later to the Bennett brothers of Panmure.
The Bennetts have owned her for approximately 14 years, they love her to death & keep her in the Tamaki River, in great condition, by what we can see in the photos.
Norm F. told Ken that the original engine installation, was done by Bert G-J., assisted by Tracey Nelson, the usual marine engineer, used by McGeady for the majority of his boats. She was originally & still is powered by a 6 cyl. naturally aspirated Ford diesel & the Bennetts believe she almost certainly still has the original engine.